Establishing a Collaborative Decision-Making Process using Join

A guide to getting buy-in from your team and getting them familiar with Join

Modern delivery methods such as design-build and IPD require collaboration and transparency not found in traditional delivery methods. The opportunities for increased profits and shared risk may sound appealing, but to effectively deliver these, a change in mindset from all project stakeholders is required. Join is a purpose-built tool that helps facilitates transparency around costs and increases collaboration on projects. Still, it requires you as the General Contractor to set the stage and engage the stakeholders in this way. Below is our guide on effectively creating a transparent and collaborative decision-making process that leverages Join.

Start with Join in Pursuit

General Contractors have found success in using Join during bid presentations when presenting to the Owner and Design Teams. Introducing Join early in the pursuit process helps showcase both the level of collaboration and transparency you want to offer but can also show a clear path to hit the Owners budget while preserving the design intent of the Design Team. This approach in today’s competitive market can help differentiate you from your competition.

Tip: Want to leverage Join for your project pursuit? Check our pursuit resources and this case study.

Create and personalize your team’s new project

Whether starting your project during the pursuit phase or post-award, one of the first things you’ll want to do is to create your project in Join, import your estimate and set a target budget

Now that you’ve got the foundation of your Join project set, below are some things you can do to personalize Join for your specific project and team. Taking the time to personalize the project for your entire team will make it feel like all project stakeholders are part of the same team.

  • Add a project thumbnail - We suggest adding a rendering of the finished project to remind everyone what they’re working towards.
  • Set a print header - Include the company logo of all the major project stakeholders to ensure they feel part of the project and included in the process. 
  • Customize terminology - Does your project use different standard terms than the default in Join? Enter your terminology to make it more familiar for your team.
  • Adjust the rounding display precision - Don’t let your team get lost in dollars and cents. Adjust the display rounding to the appropriate level for the size of your project.

Hold a project kickoff

Jump-start collaboration by getting the entire team together as the project begins, including your owners, design teams, and any trade partners you want to invite. Introduce them to Join and what it will bring to the project, and showcase the main sections of Join (Dashboard, Items, and Reports) to familiarize them with navigating the product. Clearly set expectations around how you expect each stakeholder to interact with Join, be it by creating Items, adding costs information, collaborating by adding comments or making decisions on Items.

Tip: We’ve given you a headstart by creating a Project Kickoff Template you can use for this meeting.

Encourage idea-sharing early

Get the team involved in creating ideas for the project and logging them as Items in Join. Whether they add to the building's quality, increase sustainability, or improve constructability. At this early stage, no idea is a bad idea. Don’t worry about associating costs if they aren’t available. You can add them later or include a rough order of magnitude (ROM) cost. 

Some customers have found success in holding an ideas week shortly after the project kickoff, where everyone is encouraged to contribute ideas for improving the project. Doing this gets the team into Join and comfortable using it in a low-pressure environment.

Tip: Track the cost confidence of Items by creating a Custom Category to track ROM costs through trade-verified costs